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Sleeping Pill Addiction

Sometimes, counting sheep and nature sounds doesn’t cut it when trying to fall asleep. As a result, individuals who struggle with insomnia often turn to over-the-counter sleep medications. In fact, 1 in 3 adults, or 4% of Americans, use sleeping pills.1 Users may be prescribed these pills; however, it’s common for adults to use them illegally. Unfortunately, many adverse side effects follow long-term use, and many users form a sleeping pill addiction, leading to health complications and increasing the chance of overdose.

3 Minute Read | Published Aug 02 2023 | Updated Oct 10 2023

Types of Pills Commonly Misused 

People who have sleep disorders, which may include insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, or narcolepsy, will use pills to help them fall and stay asleep.  Yet, this use can be dangerous since sleeping pills are addictive. People may use various different terms for the pills, especially if they are not being personally prescribed them. Prescription sleeping pills names are sedatives, tranquilizers, and sleeping medicine or aids. 

A person has options. Different sleeping pills come in different drug classes, such as antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and z-drugs (imidazopyridine, pyrazolopyrimidine, and cyclopyrrolone) such as Ambien. Some of the most popular prescription sleeping pills include:

  •  Restoril 
  • Halcion
  • Doxepin
  • Lunesta 
  • Zaleplon (Sonata)
  • Trazodone (Desyrel)  
  • Zolpidem (Ambien, Edluar) 

The majority of these sleeping aids are antihistamines, often used to treat allergies, resulting in drowsiness. Narcotic sleeping pills are also used, although doctors usually prescribe them to reduce intense pain. People will use painkillers to feel relaxed and numb their bodies. If you are misusing these drugs and are feeling overly fatigued or have other negative impacts, consider seeking prescription pill addiction treatment to avoid long-term health dilemmas. 

What Are the Side Effects of Sleeping Pills?

When a person is addicted to sleeping pills, they have built a tolerance to the drug and have continued use even after experiencing adverse symptoms. Plus, the withdrawal symptoms from the abuse of sleeping pills can cause moderate to severe pain or sickness. Some of the most common long-term effects of sleeping pills include: 

  •  Muscle weakness
  • Memory problems
  • Digestive problems
  • Increased risk of cancer 
  • Organ damage or failure 
  • Increased risk of dementia
  • Depression and suicidal thoughts

In addition, parasomnia is a side effect that causes people to wake up confused or disoriented. During sleep, they may sleep, walk, eat, or do other actions that they will not recall doing after awakening. Although there are slight differences in effects, depending on the drug classification, antidepressants can cause mental health issues. Speak with a professional if you are taking these types of pills and consider alternatives to sleeping pills. 

Sleeping Pill Addiction Recovery at Better Addiction Care 

If you or a loved one is struggling with a sleeping pill addiction, then Better Addiction Care has the services and resources to help. We understand that addiction is experienced differently by everyone, but our goal is to safely guide you through the withdrawal process and help you establish healthier alternatives to getting better sleep that does not involve addictive prescription medication. Don’t wait to get healthy and back on track now. 

Speak to a specialist at Better Addiction Care by calling 800-429-7690 today. Ask about rehab success rates and how to get started!

Related Readings: 

Most Common Addictions

Benzo Addiction Signs and Symptoms



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